St. Paul's Lutheran Church
Reading the Bible for All It’s Worth
Practice #1: Read the Scriptures Out Loud.
Whatever experience you’ve had with daily devotions, most likely it is silent reading alone. Try reading out loud! At the risk of waking the family, spend part of your time in the Word by reading the Scriptures the way they were intended to be read. The Bible was written to be spoken and heard. Try reading a gospel book straight through over several weeks out loud to your family. Try reading a short letter of Paul the way his first hearers would have heard it. Listen to the cadence of your favorite psalms or proverbs. Even if alone, the act of reading aloud will cause you to consider the words in a fresh way. If you are self-conscious or not a great reader, practice alone or encourage someone else to read to you. This is also a great way to involve children in family devotion time. Whatever the case or circumstance, try to hear what God has to say. The Scriptures are a feast for the eyes and a delight for the ears.
If you already have good devotional and reading habits built, keep it up! Wherever you are in your devotional life, catechesis is life-long and never stops. God’s blessings on your reading!
Have you ever intended to do something…really intended, but that intention became just another unfulfilled activity? The answer to that question is: of course. We have all intended to do many things over the course of our lives, but for many and various reasons we often fail to live up to them.
I firmly believe most, church-attending, faithful Christians intend toroutinely read the Scriptures. They know they should; they know it is beneficial. But what happens? Well, life. Busy schedules. Craziness at work. Family emergencies. Health hardships. Laziness. And what was a Lenten promise, or an Advent practice, or a New Year’s resolution, peters out and gets put on the stockpile of unlived-up-to-intentions.
I hear you. I’ve been there.
Over the next several months, I will share in this space some ways to engage God’s written Word on a daily basis. These are suggestions, but they are practices that have been helpful to me and my family. More than that, they might even kickstart an earnest desire to center your life and the lives of your family around God’s Word. Daily digesting the Scriptures and making it a “holy habit” is crucial. It is also beneficial. It is also necessary. The author of the Letter to the Hebrews warns that while we need solid food, there are those who have become “dull of hearing.” “But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their power of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” (Hebrews 5:14) Engagement with the Holy Scriptures actually does things. The Holy Spirit works through the means of God’s revelation to form and shape His people. The Word of God makes us “wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 3:15) God’s Word is “living and active”—it exposes us to God’s will for our lives and how we’ve fallen short. It also gives us the greatest comfort in His enduring promises in Christ. The Word of God is also part of God’s armor, the sword of the Spirit (and the only offensive weapon we have!) in the battle against the attacks of Satan.